Culinary Adventures in Montana

During our time in Montana, not only did we go to some delicious restaurants, but we also took advantage of the rare treat of having access to kitchens while traveling.  Between our own camping, staying with friends in Bozeman, as well as in Big Sky, we had plenty of opportunities to cook, which is a huge relief for those of us with dietary restrictions.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love dining out, but sometimes I get tired of the stress and planning that often goes hand in hand with the combination of celiac disease and restaurants.  It’s so nice, when vacationing, to have the option of cooking.  In Montana, we had that option and used it!

Some my favorite meals on our trip were ones that were created in a kitchen, with friends, or in a cabin in the middle of nowhere.  Here are some highlights of our culinary adventures:

We spent a lot of time with our friends, Jason and Sarah, in Bozeman and basically squatted in their house for a week.  A true Montana-man, Jason hunts elk, antelope and other large mammals that I would run away from if I came across their path.  Well, Jason kills them.  We were the beneficiaries of Jason and Sarah’s hard work in the wilderness, and enjoyed homemade elk and antelope burgers one night.  Delicious!  We also roasted up some squash and made a salad, to make a perfect weeknight dinner.

burgers

burger meal

When we weren’t mooching off Sarah and Jason, we stayed in Forest Service Cabins.  These cabins were the perfect idea of camping for me.  A large wood stove for cooking, an outhouse (with hand sanitizer and toilet paper!) and an enclosed space.  Of course this didn’t stop me from being convinced in the middle of the night that a serial killer, and/or bear, was coming to get me.

birch creek

birch creek 2

With the wood stoves, you could have quite the romantic meal in these cabins.  (Until you spill the entire bottle of red wine on the floor…broken glass and mopping sort of ruins the ambiance.)  David’s pyro skills were put to the test, getting the wood stove started but we made some delicious meals.  Steak in the skillet, roasted onions, potatoes and green beans.

woodstove

steak dinner

I purchased all of the produce at the Bozeman farmer’s market the night before.  Yum!

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We enjoyed steak, eggs and potatoes the next morning, for breakfast.  The perfect solution for leftovers.

eggs

eggs 2

At the end of our trip, we left Bozeman and cabins behind, and headed to Big Sky, a ski area in Montana.  We stayed with a large group and enjoyed relaxing and eating delicious food.  I was particularly nervous about this time and my dietary needs because of the size of the group and not knowing everyone, but our hosts had carefully planned all of the meals to be gluten-free.  Our friends, Stewart and Crawford, made sure that I was well taken care of.

big sky

We enjoyed lots of grilling, roasted potatoes, salads, and other yummy, naturally gluten-free dinners.  I had one of the most amazing risotto dishes ever, while in Big Sky, courtesy of our new friend, Parker.  Fancy mushrooms, shallots, and red wine.  I ate the leftovers for the next few days!

One night, David cooked one of his specialties, salmon on the grill, and it was just like being at home, except at a higher altitude.  Side note: roasted potatoes and risotto take much longer to prepare when in Montana.  Allow extra cooking time.

salmon

As you can see, I did not go hungry while out west.  We truly enjoyed the perfect combination of dining out and eating in.  If only all vacations could be this simple…

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